by Gareth Roberts
Wednesday, 27
October 2021
Spotted
10:46

Is the BBC finally standing up to gender ideologues?

A new report suggests that Auntie is making small steps in the right direction
by Gareth Roberts
Will this scene be a thing of the past?

‘I had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming’ is a cliché — nobody actually pinches themselves — but it’s hard to know how else to react to the publication of this BBC report

For years, lesbians (and to a lesser extent gay men) have been voicing their concerns about the gender movement encroaching on their definitional sexual boundaries. But the cultural establishment has either dismissed them as bigots or tried to cancel them. 

And now suddenly, the BBC, which until five minutes ago was one of the worst offenders in this regard, so utterly captured that it recently erased the very concept of homosexuality from its style guide, produces 4,000 words on the subject. 

So yes, unexpected, but also for me strangely familiar. I remember in the early 90s feeling that the world had turned upside down when the BBC joined a youth campaign against homophobia, just after one of its top Radio 1 DJs had been cracking AIDS gags on air. Is this a similar shifting of tectonic cultural plates, or just a blip that the establishment will shut down as soon as possible?

The wider situation is very different from thirty years ago. With astonishing rapidity, almost every major corporate and public sector body has fallen to gender ideology, often led by the very same institutions that were originally created to defend and advocate for lesbians and gay men. An organisation with the sheer heft of the BBC allowing even minor critique on one aspect of it feels significant. 

It’s always fascinating to watch the same people who routinely exhort us to listen to women when they speak up about sexual abuse saying ‘yeah, but not those women, the hateful bigots’. My lived experience is sacrosanct; your anecdotal evidence is flimsy ‘hate speech’. 

Unlike most of the morons tweeting yesterday that the LGB Alliance (quoted in the article) is a ‘hate group’, I have been physically attacked by members of an actual hate group, the British Movement, in the mid-1980s. And they weren’t lesbians in their sixties, oddly enough. 

Perhaps the BBC has realised, at long last, that minorities hold a wide variety of contesting viewpoints, rather than being a monolithic rainbow ‘community’ speaking with one corporate-sanctioned voice. 

A lot of very powerful people in the cultural establishment have sunk enormous costs into gender ideology and made a very public allegiance to it. It’s a high-status shibboleth across the modern western world. Simply acknowledging that sex is immutable and that people have the right to be same-sex attracted carries a huge risk of ostracisation, such as losing your livelihood. 

Now that the BBC has finally shown a willingness to take on this shibboleth, albeit with one report so far, is a promising sign. This is a time for brave hearts. How brave is the BBC’s?

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Simon Denis
Simon Denis
11 months ago

Too little, too late. And besides, all communistic institutions perform ideological summersaults when it suits them. Depending on an incoherent ideology they substitute internal discipline for argument. This makes them a priesthood which issues bans and permissions according to convenience at first and to corruption at last. Once the corruption reaches a certain level, the institution folds, but not without having done a deal of lasting damage. The BBC must go; it is rotten with woke where before it stank of PC. It has no right to charge money to support its agenda in any case; and less right than ever now that the agenda is so extreme.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Yep. As Orwell said, one of the differences between Catholic and Communist dogma is that the latter is apt to change on a moment’s notice. Hence Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, until it’s always been at war with Eastasia instead.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That’s a bit like neo conservatism, right John. We’ve always been at war with east Asia.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
11 months ago

I see that you specialise in futile debating points.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Not much of a response Simon.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

Oh, really? At worst, it is just a taste of your own medicine.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
11 months ago

Blatant whataboutism.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
10 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

The first claim made by you – that the bbc is communist is spurious. Nor am I by the way. On the other hand neoconservativism is a communist heresy. Maybe that’s why we have always been at war with EastAsia.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

If the BBC publishes a distinct point of view and has a substantial number of viewers it must stay to ensure diverse sources of information. If it has few viewers or competes with identical channels then we do not need it. If you want it to change its outlook work on it rather than eliminate it.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

Nonsense. Any state monopoly which covers 86% of media output is a threat to diversity of information and should of course be reduced or obliterated. Obliteration is by far the best option given that monopolies of this kind involve taking money from taxpayers who may not agree with the the organisation’s editorial line. Information should be made available and / or obtained by free agents in a free market. End of.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I disagree Simon – too much is happening to expose the legal contradictions in equality law and employers responsibilities. It’ll only take a couple of cases, probably prompted by women challenging the FCA requirements for senior management ratios based on genders, before it’ll collapse about their ears.
Check out the Virginia Stone Bridge school case of the impact of just one incident – it’s possibly going to result in the Democrats losing Virginia and their majority.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I got rid of my tele. I refused to line the the pockets of the BBC after their fastidiously neutral coverage of Brexit which favoured Remain.
Too much drivel on there now anyway.
I prefer reading and the radio, (and UnHerd of course).

Last edited 10 months ago by Karl Francis
Julia H
Julia H
11 months ago

I read the article and was shocked that the BBC published it and also, somewhat perversely, pleased that the issues it addressed were finally being aired in the open. A few things need to be said to the ‘trans community’ and their ‘allies’ (I know they don’t speak for all trans people so these comments are targeted at the loony but far too vocal fringe):

1) Remember that trans people are an absolutely tiny proportion of the population of any country.

2) Remember that more than 90% of the human population is heterosexual.

3) Your predecessor organisations fought successfully for homosexual people – a natural minority – to have the same legal rights as heterosexual people – a natural majority.

4) Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (NOT ‘gender identity.)

5) In some specified contexts it is still necessary and legal to discriminate against people on the ground of sex.

6) The suggestion that any person who declares that they would not be sexually attracted to a trans person is guilty of ‘discrimination’ is both nonsensical and has no basis in law.

7) There can never be any legislation or remedy in law to compel anyone to find you sexually attractive.

8) There is no such thing as the ‘Cotton Ceiling’ because, unlike the female half of the population who have historically and demonstrably suffered from being denied promotion to top jobs (the shorthand for which phenomenon is the ‘Glass Ceiling’) there is not, nor can there ever be, an expectation that trans people have a right to be considered equally as ‘candidates’ for a sexual partnership with any individual based only on the trans person’s perception of their qualifications for that role.

9) When you talk about lesbian women who refuse to have sex with trans women being ‘transphobic’ and ‘discriminating’ against trans people you appear to be insisting on a trans woman’s RIGHT to have sex with an unwilling lesbian woman.

10) No person in this country, of either sex or any sexual orientation has an enforceable right to have sex with any other person.

11) Those in the trans community who denounce as ‘transphobic’ women who defend their rights to privacy and bodily autonomy, including the right to refuse sex with anyone without having to explain themselves, reveal themselves to be allied with misogynists and provide an eloquent case for the very protection from abuse that women seek in single sex spaces.

These points need to be repeated, often, and everywhere.

Last edited 11 months ago by Julia H
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
11 months ago
Reply to  Julia H

Very good, except that I think you need to make 11 a bit more forthright. The people you describe reveal themselves to be rape enablers.

Aldo Maccione
Aldo Maccione
10 months ago
Reply to  Julia H

The best part of the BBC article was :
 “The language is gross because you are evoking the metaphor of the glass ceiling, which is about women being oppressed. So saying that if someone doesn’t want to have sex with you that person is oppressing you.”
It made me realise that, as a young heterosexual male, I have been oppressed by hot girls all my youth.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Julia H

Well said! I suspect that the majority think this way, and moreover would never consider abusing trans people, or even discriminating against them. Yet our sainted national broadcaster sees fit to castigated us all (daily it seems) as a country of vicious bigots. I am male and I have been in a relationship with my male partner for 33 years and apart from once (25 years ago – in a hotel that made Faulty Towers seem sophisticated) we have never been made to feel uncomfortable anywhere in he U.K.. The ‘real’ people here are already tolerant and inclusive, far more so than those forever angry people the BBC constantly gives it’s airtime to.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
10 months ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

That’s great to hear Lee, and just as I would have hoped. There seem to be people and organisations around who want to paint us all as homophobic, transphobic, racists, but everyone I know and everyone I have ever met in this country is tolerant and accepting.

Unfortunately, these ‘dogooders’ appear to want to divide us into our little groups based on sexual preferences, skin colour or pronoun preference rather than realise that all of us are far more than just any of those three attributes.

raymondcoker3
raymondcoker3
10 months ago
Reply to  Julia H

Good points, well made⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Edward H
Edward H
11 months ago

“[They] threatened to out me as a terf and risk my job if I refused to sleep with [them],” she wrote. “I was too young to argue and had been brainwashed by queer theory so [they were] a ‘woman’ even if every fibre of my being was screaming throughout so I agreed to go home with [them]. [They] used physical force when I changed my mind upon seeing [their] p***s and raped me.”

The above paragraph was quoted by the BBC from an account of a lesbian in Lesbians at Ground Zero. By going to the source (http://www.gettheloutuk.com/images/LesbianAtGroundZero_Eng4.jpg), you can see that the BBC took it upon itself to obscure the sex of the alleged assailant with the use of brackets to replace the male pronouns used in the original.
Methinks the BBC still has a lot of work to do here.

Last edited 11 months ago by Edward H
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
11 months ago
Reply to  Edward H

To be fair it’s clear the assailant is male. What with the p***s.

Edward H
Edward H
10 months ago

My concern was more for the way this could be seen as the BBC gaslighting the alleged victim. It’s almost like telling the person that what they know happened to them couldn’t have happened to them.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Edward H

That’s the problem with gender ideology: the mental somersaults you have to do to ensure that you are using the correct pronouns and not inadvertently offending someone. I honestly don’t know how people find the time…

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
10 months ago
Reply to  Edward H

Let’s be grateful the BBC didn’t use the pronoun ‘she’.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago

I saw this article yesterday, too and I was totally gob-sm*cked (and appalled by the content). Perhaps it is a slight change in attitude – we can only hope.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago

Not a change of attitude more a fig leaf so that they can claim to be putting both sides of the debate fairly and fulfilling their public broadcasting remit.
You can find the article on the website through the link here and if you search under Trans or LGBT you can find it, but if you are just looking for general articles coming up on the website in the normal way it is not there. So effectively it is invisible to anyone just looking at the website but will be counted as a balancing article should anyone claim the BBC are a propaganda arm of Stonewall.
They are not just pretty faces at the BBC.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

‘should anyone claim the BBC are a propaganda arm of Stonewall’ – as the recent BBC Nolan podcast has intimated. The BBC knew it was in the pipeline so I wonder whether that explains the publication of this piece. Still, never look a gift horse etc etc …

Last edited 10 months ago by Judy Englander
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
11 months ago

It is time the other side of the argument is shared with the mainstream. For too long, Stonewall and Mermaids have been shouting over every other voice. Their arguments are taken as truths even though the data they choose to use tends to be from the USA. Or in smaller research projects than this one.
It is interesting that both Stonewall and Mermaids use very small data samples to prove their points re young people abd trans ideology, but have slated this research as being of no use since there were only 80 respondents.
When called out, Stonewall’s CEO went off on a rant that is nonsensical and quite frankly, childish. Tantrum alert!

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
11 months ago

Just a blip. It’s down now or unlinked. Provided this is a major issue in the US, that it continues to be part of the tribal distinction between progressive Democrats and the rest, the ideology will continue unless the democrats become sane again.

Last edited 11 months ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Ian nclfuzzy
Ian nclfuzzy
11 months ago

I’ve just looked on the “England” page of the BBC and it’s nowhere to be found.
You have to know the full url to get to it.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian nclfuzzy

It’s still there. Here’s the url https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-57853385.amp

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago

The link provided by Mr Roberts still works; or at least it did for me a couple of minutes ago.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago

There are no “Progressive Democrats” and, with respect, I disagree with your use of the term. There are only fascist, would-be tyrants who want to take away our freedoms and destroy society.
“Progressive” is their term. It is not accurate, and is the opposite of what they really are. Like “anti-fa” being against fascism. They are fascists, and must not only be resisted, they must be defeated!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

It sounds like your vocabulary is even more restricted and biased than theirs.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Ouch! I’ll try to do better, and thanks for spurring me on!

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
11 months ago

Well, it’s either shift those tectonic plates, or carry on to re-create the Salem Witch Trials.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago

To my friends across the pond, please don’t pay the license fee!
I understand that it is mandatory, but there must be a way to starve the beast. The BBC is a shadow of its former self, and is now the propaganda arm of the woke. Just today BBC played world famous Corona virus expert and groundbreaking immunologist Charlize Theron, who–seemingly–went against the science by saying the third jab is not needed, or selfish, when those in Africa have yet to have a first jab. She also strayed from her brief as a Corona expert to venture into business expertise, saying that patent waivers were needed and a good thing. Really? This is the BBC, giving this nutter a platform?
This article is insightful, but perhaps should have emphasized language a bit more. It implies, but does not actually state, that so-called “hate speech” has no definition (See, “two spirits”), but is generally used in two ways: 1. anything that the extreme, fascist, radical left disagrees with and/or 2. anything that could offend anyone at any time for any reason (See, ALL comedy), and Steve Hughes does an epic job covering this.
It’s not only about gay or trans issues. It’s about the society, the culture. BBC must be stopped!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Tut, Tut. Are encouraging us Brits to break the law? 🙂

Last edited 11 months ago by Linda Hutchinson
James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago

I suppose I am. British law seems to severely limit free speech. Didn’t some chav go to prison recently for “hate speech?” I think it’s wrong, I wouldn’t do it, BUT I certainly believe that he should be able to say whatever he wants online (no threats of imminent violence), even if vulgar.
So, yes, break these illegitimate laws.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
11 months ago

Yup, along with Nolan and Thompson’s magnificent investigative journalism about Stonewall (BBC Sounds Podcast) this may be signs that the worms are finally turning.
It’s inevitable really – internally contradictory and puritanical ideologies are always going to collapse eventually, like communism did, but it’s a surprise when the tide goes out to see the ‘illustrious’ being exposed – Stonewall, Labour MPs, The Guardian, JK Rowling’s so called actor friends who were so quick to betray her.
In a couple of years when the tide finally exposes them it’ll be great fun going through their pronouncements and tweets and seeing them acknowledged as pure bigotry.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
11 months ago

I was first minded to say, “Don’t hold your breath”, and suggest that the ideologues would soon put the BBC back on the ‘right track’.

But I see from the other commenters that the article has now vanished. Didn’t take long!

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
11 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

I had no difficulty accessing it ! It does give me hope that the grip of the ideology is loosening.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
11 months ago

Yes, if you have the url it is there. It’s not accessible, as far as I can see, elsewhere.

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
11 months ago

I wonder how much Nolan’s Stonewall podcast has shaken them.

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
11 months ago

Ah… don’t get your hopes up… leopard and spots etc. etc….

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
10 months ago
David McDowell
David McDowell
10 months ago

It’s not a change in direction. It’s the Remoaner TERFs who run the upper echelon defending their own vested interest in an exceptional case.

Frederick B
Frederick B
10 months ago

Please Unherd, not yet another piece about the woes of some sexual minority or other. No-one cares except a tiny minority of misfits.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

If we knew why Stephan Nolan is paid so much money, we would also know why he was allowed to question BBC policy on transgender.

Andrea X
Andrea X
11 months ago

Ehm, so what is the change about? Do I need to read the BBC’s lengthy essay?

Julia H
Julia H
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

“Is a lesbian transphobic if she does not want to have sex with trans women? Some lesbians say they are increasingly being pressured and coerced into accepting trans women as partners – then shunned and even threatened for speaking out. Several have spoken to the BBC, along with trans women who are concerned about the issue too.“

Does this help?